Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Jun 10, 2013

Low turnout in local Italian election shows rising disillusion

ROME (Reuters) – Fewer Italians than usual have turned out to vote in local elections that end on Monday, displaying their growing disillusionment with politics in a country run by an uneasy left-right coalition.

Center-left Prime Minister Enrico Letta hopes for a boost after his Democratic Party (PD) threw away a 10-point lead before February’s inconclusive general election, but, even if results go his way, low turnout would show support for mainstream parties is, at best, lukewarm.

May 19, 2013

Pope warns Church against closing in on itself

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis warned the Catholic Church to not close in on itself at a Mass to mark Pentecost Sunday attended by more than 200,000 people, urging the faithful to be open and present in a new and changing world.

The Church should ask itself daily whether it is resisting new challenges and remaining “barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new,” he said.

May 13, 2013

Eating insects could help fight obesity, U.N. says

ROME, May 13 (Reuters) – The thought of eating beetles,
caterpillars and ants may give you the creeps, but the authors
of a U.N. report published on Monday said the health benefits of
consuming nutritious insects could help fight obesity.

More than 1,900 species of insects are eaten around the
world, mainly in Africa and Asia, but people in the West
generally turn their noses up at the likes of grasshoppers,
termites and other crunchy fare.

May 3, 2013

Italy’s first black minister defiant in face of racist slurs

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s first black minister has responded to a barrage of sexist and racial insults by saying she is proud to be black, not colored, and that Italy is not really a racist country.

Cecile Kyenge, an eye doctor and Italian citizen originally from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was named integration minister by Prime Minister Enrico Letta last Saturday, one of seven women in the new government.

Apr 11, 2013

World food prices rise in March on dairy surge-FAO

ROME, April 11 (Reuters) – Global food prices rose 1 percent
in March, the United Nations’ food agency said on Thursday,
pointing to a surge in dairy costs, while cereals prices were
little changed and seen facing downward pressure in coming
months.

Food prices spiked over the summer of 2012 fuelled by a
historic drought in the United States and dry weather in other
major producers. Prices eased slightly towards the end of last
year but have been nudging higher again for the past two months.

Apr 7, 2013

Italy’s center left divided over nemesis Berlusconi

ROME (Reuters) – Two months after placing first in a vote but falling short of winning power, Italy’s main center-left party is still divided over whether to swallow its animosity and consider a government with its scandal-plagued nemesis, Silvio Berlusconi.

Italy has been in limbo since a February election gave no bloc enough votes to govern alone. The center left won a majority in the lower house but not in the Senate, and a huge protest vote for the populist 5-Star Movement has split parliament three ways.

Apr 6, 2013

Italy to pay 40 billion euros of state debt to companies

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s caretaker cabinet said on Saturday it would pay 40 billion euros ($52 billion) of the state’s debts to private companies over the next 12 months, while vowing to stick within the European Union’s deficit limit.

The government approved a decree intended to provide vital liquidity to cash-strapped firms and help tackle a deep recession in the euro zone’s third-largest economy. But industry groups said it would still be difficult for businesses to claim their money despite the measures.

Mar 28, 2013

Scientists criticize Italy for allowing unproven stem cell therapy

ROME (Reuters) – Scientists have criticized an Italian government decree allowing a group of terminally-ill patients to continue using an unproven stem cell treatment, saying such therapies may cause harm and risk exploiting desperate people.

The treatment, created by the privately-owned Stamina Foundation, was banned by Italian medicines regulator AIFA last year after it inspected their laboratories, leading to a series of legal challenges by families of patients.

Mar 27, 2013

Knox, Sollecito to face Italy retrial in Kercher murder

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s top court on Tuesday ordered a retrial of American Amanda Knox and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, re-opening a case that prompted harsh criticism of the Italian justice system.

Kercher’s half-naked body, with more than 40 wounds and a deep gash in the throat, was found in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, where both were studying during a year abroad in 2007.

Mar 26, 2013

Italy court orders Knox retrial for Kercher murder

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s top court on Tuesday ordered a retrial of American Amanda Knox and a former boyfriend for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, re-opening a case that prompted harsh criticism of the Italian justice system.

Kercher’s body, with more than 40 wounds and a deep gash in the throat, was found in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia in 2007.